Corps of Engineers approves permit for cement plant

Sunday, June 15, 2003

ST.LOUIS -- The Corps of Engineers has sent a letter of intent to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) informing them of its decision to approve the permit for the Holcim Inc. cement plant in Ste. Genevieve County.

The FWS and EPA have an important role in the Department of the Army Regulatory Program under the Clean Water Act, National Environmental Policy Act and other relevant statutes. This letter is sent in accordance with Section 404(q) of the Clean Water Act, which directs the Corps of Engineers to coordinate with these agencies regarding permits for national or regional development issues.

This permit regulates impacts to the waters of the United States, including wetlands (Section 404 of the Clean Water Act) and activities in, or affecting, the navigable waters of the United States (Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899). It is one of several permits from federal and state agencies that Holcim must obtain before the firm can begin work on the site adjacent to the Mississippi River in Ste. Genevieve County.

The permit gives approval for a total project area of approximately 3,916 acres with 14 acres of wetland impacted and 61 acres of wetland created in compensation for the impacts.

During the permit process, the Corps considers the views of other federal, state and local agencies, interest groups, and the general public. The results of this careful public interest review are fair and equitable decisions, according to the Corps, that allow reasonable use of private property, infrastructure development, and growth of the economy, while minimizing and offsetting the authorized impacts to the waters of the United States.

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